How to Protect Employees from Racist and Rude Customers

A Kantola Learning Minute

An employer asks how to protect employees from racist and rude comments hurled by members of the public. While being rude isn't illegal, it does create a hostile work environment that has to be dealt with. So what can you do? Find out in this week's Kantola Learning Minute with workplace trainer Linda Garrett, JD.

Hi, I'm Linda Garrett with a Kantola Learning Minute

As an employer you no doubt are concerned about protecting your employees from aggression and violence in the workplace. But what can you do if a member of the public, a customer, or a patient hurls a racial slur at one of your employees? Regrettably, civil behavior and good manners seem to have gone by the wayside, and, even though being rude is not illegal, it still creates a hostile work environment and triggers a responsibility for you to make sure that your employees are protected from this sort of behavior.

So, what can you do when something like this happens to an employee? Well, first of all, immediately step up and protect your employee. Inform the person that your policy is to require everyone to be treated with dignity and respect, and that the racial slur they've just uttered violates your policy.

If you're not there, another important thing to do is empower co-workers to step up and help an employee who's been victimized in this manner. They can step aside and someone new can take over the work that has to be done. Thanks for joining us.

A victim should not have to endure harassing behavior or verbal aggression like this in the workplace.

I hope this Learning Minute has been helpful, and thank you for joining us.

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